Norton AntiVirus 2004 Professional review: Norton AntiVirus 2004 Professional

NAVP 2004 adds two major capabilities. First is its enhanced detection of compressed files. Previous versions of NAVP detected viruses embedded in ZIP and other compressed formats during manual scans. NAVP 2004's real-time scanner finds and deletes these hidden viruses on the fly--as they are being downloaded, for example--adding another layer of protection.

NAVP 2004's second new feature is the capability to detect and destroy spyware, adware, and hacking tools that may be lurking on your hard drive. NAVP 2004 is the first antivirus app to include this feature. However, the free standalone utilities, such as Lavasoft's Ad-aware and Spybot Search and Destroy, ferret out these same annoyances much better. For example, in our tests, NAVP 2004 failed to find a malware component uncovered by Ad-aware 6.0 in a follow-up scan. (We ran Ad-aware immediately after the completion of a Norton system scan.)

The professional version of NAVP 2004 also includes licenses for two separate PCs.

In our CNET Labs' tests, NAVP 2004 caused a 4 percent drag on our test system's performance. McAfee VirusScan Professional 8.0, on the other hand, produced no perceptible drag. But NAVP 2004 scanned our 1GB drive much faster than McAfee did. Here are our complete test results:

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